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Porsche Cayenne D Techart/Tech9 (2009) review

Published:24 August 2009

Porsche Cayenne D Techart/Tech9 (2009) review
  • At a glance
  • 4 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5

By Ben Barry

Contributing editor, sideways merchant, tyre disintegrator

By Ben Barry

Contributing editor, sideways merchant, tyre disintegrator

We’ve been ever-so-slightly underwhelmed by Porsche’s first diesel car, the Cayenne V6 diesel. With 3.0-litres, 237bhp and 405lb ft, its performance just doesn’t sparkle like a Porsche ­– even a diesel Porsche – should, and it looks a little dull too. Seems that Porsche tuners Techart feel the same way, and the firm is now offering a range of upgrades through UK distributor Tech9.

The facts and figures of this special Techart Porsche Cayenne, then?

Will do, but first we need to clear up some potential confusion. Tech9 will offer a Techart power upgrade for £2500, but the conversion we’re trying is Tech9’s Expedio, which works on the same kind of principles. It costs £2109, and, just like the Techart tweaks, boosts power from 237bhp and 405lb ft to 290bhp and at least 472lb ft and has been independently proven to hit 62mph in 6.9sec – 1.4sec quicker than standard.

Is it ferociously rapid?

Ferocious, no. Rapid, yes. The standard car is pretty lethargic, infuriatingly so during overtakes and on short slip roads. Expedio brings a plumper hit of torque between 2000 and 3500rpm, a proper kick in the back that better befits the Porsche badge and brings some much-needed flexibility. Yes, it’s still a little thin and hardworked between 3500 and 4500rpm, but keeping it in the powerband is instinctive enough.

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How does it work?

Tech9 has left turbo boost at factory levels, instead optimising ignition and fuelling levels. This is done via a standalone unit (known as a piggyback ECU) that intercepts and tweaks the signal from the factory ECU before it reaches the engine itself.

That means you can transfer it from car-to-car, or – not that we can condone this – remove it if the insurance company comes knocking or if the car goes back to Porsche for warranty work.

The Expedio kit also monitors exhaust and oil temps, limiting maximum performance when the car is cold to better preserve engine life – although a full warranty is also offered.

Emissions and mpg are said to be unchanged, though no officially approved testing has been carried out.

>> Click 'Next' below to read more of our Porsche Cayenne D Techart/Tech9 first drive

How about that bodywork?

It’s all Techart, but, at £15k, it makes the engine conversion seem like very strong value indeed. However, for your outlay you do get the Aerokit 1 that includes new bumpers, sideskirts, headlight trims and a rear spoiler all made in tough and durable polyurethane. The bits are fitted and painted too.

There are also nicer exhaust pipes, new floor mats, a more tactile Techart steering wheel (that cleverly retains the standard Porsche controls and airbag) 21-inch wheels with Michelin tyres and – for cars with Porsche’s optional suspension – a Techart control unit that lowers the car on the move for improved dynamics and lowers it a little further when stationary for easier access and a pimptastic stance.

Verdict

The body styling is down to personal taste, but we’d concur that the standard car is bland and can confirm that the Techart equipment looks and feels very well made. If you like it and you’ve got the cash we can see no reason not to.

However, it is something of a diversion – of key interest to us is the Expedio power upgrade. As promised by Tech9, it transforms the Cayenne diesel. Gone are the lethargic responses, replaced by in-gear thrust and a sprightly urge that’s more in tune with the badge. There appear to be no drawbacks (the lack of boost tweaks and a full independent warranty are particularly appealing) though we’d need longer with the car to obtain real-world mpg. All in, £2109 well spent.

>> Click 'Add your comment' and let us know what you think of the Porsche Cayenne D Techart/Tech9 first drive

Specs

Price when new: £54,800
On sale in the UK: Now (spec for (car plus engine and styling mods))
Engine: 2967 24v turbodiesel V6, 290bhp, 472lb ft
Transmission: Six-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
Performance: 6.9sec 0-62mph, n/amph, n/a mpg, n/a g/km
Weight / material: 2240kg/steel
Dimensions (length/width/height in mm): 4798/1928/1699

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  • Porsche Cayenne D Techart/Tech9 (2009) review
  • Porsche Cayenne D Techart/Tech9 (2009) review
  • Porsche Cayenne D Techart/Tech9 (2009) review

By Ben Barry

Contributing editor, sideways merchant, tyre disintegrator

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